Friday, January 25, 2008

Something to Watch instead of Meet the Spartans

By now, I think we have all come to expect certain things when we watch videos online... there are going to be haters, there are going to be some absolutely bizarre and gross things we will never be able to unsee... and then, there will be mashup trailers, oh so many mashup trailers.

Now, I used to think that Pulp Fiction (with that running Eric Stoltz joke that gets funnier every time) and Star Wars were always going to be the leaders in this particular type of cinematic experiment.

And then came 300. There is just something fun about hearing that soundtrack and dialogue over scenes from another movie. To me, Anchorman 300 is the gold standard for this kind of thing, and ever since those stupid ads for Meet the Spartans have been showing, well, I've been indulging myself by watching a lot of mashups, because we all know that even at their worst, they are still likely better than that that steaming load of a spoof Hollywood is trying to foist on us.

So I thought I would present a few of the better mashups I found over these past few weeks. Here is basically how I judged them:

1) When a 300 character is talking, have a character in the footage doing the same thing.
2) I have to believe the narrative. The secret to a good mashup is you have to make me suspend my disbelief and see your vision for that particular movie. I mean, it is all well and good to put some footage together to try to present something transmundane, but if I can't buy it as a story, well, then I can't get behind it. For instance, someone put together a Big Trouble in Little China version, and there wasn't a thread to put it all together.
3) Style counts. 300 was all about style, and getting some of the little things right, well, it goes a long way to selling me on a mashup. That is the reason The Sandlot version didn't make the cut either. I want something a little grander.

Here's what made the cut:

300 Starship Troopers: See, this one just makes sense as both films have a mythic quality and deal with a battle against almost insurmountable odds. I think it works well in a semi serious way.

300 Star Wars: I had to include this because it is basically a meeting between two mashup kings. If I could find a Pulp Fiction/300 mashup that fit this particular style, it would have been here too. However, it isn't the strongest mashup on this list.

Monster Squad 300: To me, this one is shockingly good, because the movie that it is based on is sort of a kid's movie, and one that wasn't available for a long time... it recently was rereleased on DVD, so I may have to pick it up now.

Dawn of the 300 Dead: This one makes sense because both the movies involved are directed by Zack Snyder, which means that in many ways, the footage comes together well. And I think it also has the funniest Ving Rhames moment of the year.

Shaolin Soccer 300: A frenetic surreal movie about superhuman soccer players and a movie about 300 Spartan warriors... how could that ever work? Well, it does. It blew my mind.

Willow 300: Now, this is a good one... well, aside from the fact that a lot of the speaking parts are being played by Burglekutt, a classic movie jerk if there ever was one.

300 Privates: This one is sort of a cheat really, as it is a mashup of 300 and Forrest Gump/Saving Private Ryan. Of course, when you think of the two major battle scenes from SPR, well, I think it does fit together.

Kill Bill 300: Come on, I had to go with this. And I think it features one of the best believable Child's voice scenes out of them all, and the music is really in fitting with Kill Bill as well.


Bart said...

You should pick up Monster Squad. And it wasn't sort of kids movie, it definitely was. :)

MC said...

I still hold out hope that Dekker's other movie, Night of the Creeps with also get a DVD release. I love that thing.